Saturday, December 3, 2022

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    Trump’s Truth Social made available on Google devices after addressing content concerns

    Truth Social has made its Google Play Store debut. But getting there wasn’t easy.

    After a rocky start – with would-be users stuck on long waiting lists and top executives resigning after just months on the team, former President Donald Trump’s social platform Truth Social has finally gained some traction.

    Today, it’s made another big leap: it’s been made available on Google devices – a move likely to help the platform expand its user-base and reach.

    Here’s what you need to know.

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    What happened

    ? Truth Social, Trump’s free speech-evangelizing platform created in response to the former president’s less-than-gracious booting from Twitter, is now debuting in the Google Play Store for the first time. The app became available on iOS and Android systems earlier this year.

    ? Although the platform initially had trouble getting off the ground, it’s since seen major growth. For one, Trump himself began using the app – then, the FBI raid of the billionaire’s residence at Mar-a-Lago ignited passions on the right and sparked a wave of new signups.

    ? Google initially barred he app from its devices upon determining that it violated the company’s policies, as it included posts with content that incited violence and involved physical threats, per reports from Axios. While Truth Social wasn’t outright banned on the Google Play Store, its case was put on the back burner until Google’s concerns were effectively addressed.

    ? Google confirmed to Axios that Truth Social agreed to enforce user policies and content moderation requirements more strictly in order to receive the tech giant’s stamp of approval.

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    Why it matters

    ? Unlike many other social platforms, Truth Social – which claims to encourage “an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating on the basis of political ideology” – does not explicitly prohibit hate speech. As such, it remains unclear how the app plans to continue meeting Google’s requirements, which ban user-generated content that includes hate speech.

    ? Nonetheless, the app’s debut in the Google Play Store is likely to help Truth Social build out its user base. A larger user base, of course, means more eyeballs – which could help attract advertisers. As it stands, the app has no paying advertisers. Without charging subscription fees to users, it appears to be a long way from monetizing.

    ? Some experts believe this is a common challenge for early startups. “It’s still way too early to be talking monetization for Truth,” Joe Pulizzi, an entrepreneur, podcaster and author of various marketing books, previously told The Drum. “They are still working to build a minimum viable audience. They’ll need time and consistent usage, and then they can figure out their revenue strategy.”

    ? Others, however, are more skeptical. “I’ve struggled to see a future – certainly the near-term – where advertisers start consistently booking ad space with Truth Social,” in light of the plethora of “controversial, divisive, troublesome content” found on the platform, social media consultant Matt Navarra said. 

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